The Week Ahead: L7, Jelani Sei, Glen Hansard, The Roots Picnic and more

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The Roots | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN

Are you all rested up from your long Memorial Day weekend? Good, because it’s a busy week. You’ve got your choice of Australian indie bands tonight, you have the star-studded Roots Picnic on Saturday, and so much in between. Here are 23 concerts to see in the next 7 days, all around Philly.

Tuesday 5/28: Cub Sport at The Foundry

Ethereal Brisbane-based indie-pop band Cub Sport has spent the majority of their 2019 on tour after the release of their self-titled third full-length album Cub Sport in early January. They have continued to rise in popularity since they were added to The 1975’s 2016 tour. In addition to their dreamlike sound, the band is known for its label independence and involvement in LGBTQ+ advocacy on social media, and their new release finds them at their most confident. Read the band’s interview with our Solomon Friedman here. // 7 p.m., $15, AA // TIX + INFO – Lily Sanders

Tuesday 5/28: Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever at Underground Arts

Currently on the roster of Sub Pop Records, Melbourne band Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever released their debut full length album, Hopes Down in 2018. Known for thrashy, guitar-heavy arrangements, Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever is sure to bring a lot of energy to the Underground Arts stage on Tuesday. RVG will open the show. // 9 p.m., $20. 21+ // TIX + INFO – L.S.

Tuesday 5/28: Bobby McFerrin at World Cafe Live

While known for his 1988 hi, “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” Bobby McFerrin has much more to offer than the reggae-inspired uplifting jingle. The winner of 10 Grammys, McFerrin self-identifies as “genre-defiant.” He makes music that experiments with pitch and tone and often lacks accompaniment. The versatile a cappella vocalist sings everything from jazz standards, to classical ballads. McFerrin’s most recent album, spirityouall, was released in 2013 and features collaborators like Esperanza Spalding. He will be joined at this show by Ranky Tanky, an ensemble inspired but Southern Gullah music, at Tuesday’s show. // 8 p.m., $80-$90, AA // TIX + INFO – L.S.

Tuesday 5/28: Keep Youth Free opening featuring City Love at Philadelphia Center / Architecture + Design

What needs to happen to create a world where youth are not locked up in prisons, and instead allowed to work towards their fullest potential? That’s the existential question at the center of Keep Youth Free, a three-day exhibition sponsored by Juvenile Law Center, the Village of Arts and Humanities, and many other likeminded nonprofits, opening this Tuesday night at the Philadelphia Center / Architecture + Design in Center City. In addition to films, photographs, mobile murals, and other digital ephemera created by teens, the exhibit has an interactive component asking the community to weigh in with their thoughts. The opening night reception features musical performances, including City Love, a new collaborative education and social justice project of Hardwork Movement’s Sterling Duns and singer-songwriter Caselli Jordan. // 5 p.m., Free, AA // INFOJohn Vettese

Wednesday 5/29: L7 at Union Transfer

This woman-centered punk-rock four piece got their start in Los Angeles in 1985, but L7’s music became popular in an era defined by grunge. After a 13-year long breakup, the band got back together in 2014, and on May 3rd, L7 released their first album in 20 years. Titled Scatter The Rats, the record has a more modern sound and offers continuity to the rest of the band’s repertoire. L7 will be performing alongside Guadalajara, Mexico garage rock band, Le Butcherettes. // 7:30 p.m., $20, AA // TIX + INFO – L.S.

Wednesday 5/29: Chill Moody at Kimmel Center

For this month’s edition of the monthly free community concert series Sittin’ In, Philly rapper Chill Moody returns to the Kimmel Center for a Wednesday night gig featuring a sweet new t-shirt line, yet-to-be-announced guest collaborators, and other surprises. Moody debuted in 2012 with his westCHILLY mixtape, and has spent the years since independently releasing music on the regular through his niceTHINGS Music label. Last year, he teamed up with like-minded independent artist Donn T for the &More collaboration, and they released their debut album Ethel Bobcat this spring. // 9 p.m., FREE, AA // INFO – John Vettese

Thursday 5/30: The Tisburys at World Cafe Live

The rambunctious Philly indie outfit hits World Cafe this Thursday night for the first time since releasing their new EP Wax Nostalgic in late April. Two more emerging local acts will join them — country rockers The 40th Parallel and sibling duo-led Babls. All three acts have classic songwriting sensibilities and a penchant for catchy choruses, and we are excited to hear more from them soon. // 8 p.m., $8, AA // TIX + INFO – Thomas Hagen

Thursday 5/30: Slingshot Dakota at Everybody Hits

Bethlehem-based wife-husband Slingshot Dakota duo will play Everybody Hits on Thursday night, fresh off the release of their new album Heavy Banding. The LP, which came out May 24th on Community Records, is full of extreme guitar fuzz and equally extreme pop balladry; read a review of the album by our Thomas Hagen. Joining them are two more indie rock acts fronted by earnest, sincere songwriters — Hit Like a Girl from Montclair, New Jersey and Harmony Woods, from Philadelphia. Prepare for a night of fearless song. // 8 p.m., $8-10 // TIX + INFO – T.H.

Thursday 5/30: Sammus at MilkBoy

Sammus (or S∆MMUS) is an audacious young rapper and producer who has collaborated with Open Mike Eagle, Xenia Rubinos, Jean Grae, and more — and she is still rising. On her 2016 LP Pieces In Space, she brought an idiosyncratic mix of current trap, futuristic RnB and hypnotic synth production, and she kept repping upstate New York hard. Opening for the MilkBoy show is psychedelic RnB band Bells Atlas, on tour in support of their new album the mystic, which came out in April. // 8 p.m., $8-10, 21+ // TIX + INFO – T.H.

Thursday 5/30: The Dawn Drapes at Ortlieb’s

The Dawn Drapes are a young indie rock group whose songwriting is equal parts quirky and focused. Their second release, Slow Spin, which came out in February, relies heavily on the interplay between drum grooves and bright acoustic guitars. They return to Ortlieb’s for a raucous night with Will Brown and the Jamboree Band, Jordan Caiola and The Dull Blue Lights. // 8 p.m., $10, 21+ // TIX + INFO – T.H.

Thursday 5/30: Full Bush at Anthorna Gallery

Kicking off their Hangover Helper tour in a West Philly art space, Philly rockers Full Bush team up with Wilmington rocker Grace Vonderkuhn (to say nothing of NJ rockers Exmaid, and Atlanta rockers Gabbie Rotts). Full Bush’s self-titled 2018 album is getting a cassette reissue this year via Brutal Panda Records, and they tell us their next album will come out through the Philly label as well. Watch their awesome “Ray’s” video below. // 8 p.m., $7, AA // INFO — J.V.

Friday 5/31: Jelani Sei at House Key Showcase at Underground Arts

The House Key Showcase, curated by The Key in collaboration with local promoter House Cat Presents, returns to Underground Arts this Friday to spotlight three more up-and-coming artists. This time around, Jelani Sei will be joining us from Hartford, CT — they’ve been cutting their teeth in the New England, NYC, and Philly music scenes since 2014. The experimental future-soul outfit has plans to release a new record later this year, continuing to make music that represents “not only unity, but love, passion and a drive to push oneself beyond limits they didn’t think they were capable of.” Philly locals Ill Fated Natives and Kilamanzego will also play. // 9 p.m., $10, 21+ // TIX + INFO – Sarah Hojsak

Friday 5/31: George Korein at The Mothership

Between a collaborative EP with Dr. Dog drummer Eric Slick called Curdle Speaks, and a new full length of his own called Effortless Quest, Philly experimental pop artist George Korein has had a busy spring. The Slick collaboration is weird and whimsical, with Korein’s spoken word vocals ruminating on nostalgia, vice, and bike shares, while the musical accompaniment by Slick is skronky and askew, in the spirit of Lightning Bolt and early Deerhoof. By comparison, Effortless Quest seams measured and mainstream, even though it’s pretty far-out in its own right, with Korein landing on a sound that feels equally indebted to Can, Grandaddy, and Laser Backrground. Joining him on this show are the bewitching two-piece Hermit High Priestess, and the Joe Baiza /Jason Kahn duo. // $10, 8 p.m., AA // INFO – J.V.

Friday 5/31: Queen of Jeans at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Given the amount of dreamlike reverb that Philadelphia indie rock four-piece Queen of Jeans likes to swim in, there’s probably no better space for them to play in Philly than the great stair hall of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Likewise, there’s probably no better suited band  go toe-to-toe with the cavernous staircase’s open and airy acoustics. (To borrow some studio head parlance, that room is live af, and sometimes presents a challenge to artists who play it.) This month, QOJ plays the Flashback Friday edition of the PMA’s Final Fridays series, and it pairs them up with DJ Eagle & Yolo Ono, as well as workshops in various galleries themed around memory and nostalgia. Which, given the retro-50s nature of the band and their most recent record Dig Yourself, makes them a perfect fit. // 5:30 p.m., Free with admission, AA // INFOJ.V.

Friday 5/31: David Gray at The Met Philly

Longtime XPN favorite David Gray just released Gold In A Brass Age, his first album in five years and 11th overall. Currently in the middle of a world tour behind the album, the British singer-songwriter will bring his new songs to The Met this Friday night for his biggest Philly show in a while. Bilingual singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno will open the show. // 8 p.m., $29.50+, AA // TIX + INFO – S.H. 

Friday 5/31: Glen Hansard at Merriam Theater

You may remember Glen Hansard from the heartfelt musical drama Once, which earned him an Academy Award. In the 12 years since, the Irish singer-songwriter has built a successful solo career, and has branched out from his earnest troubadour persona for his newest record. Hansard’s new album This Wild Willing is out now, and it sees him letting go of expectations and embracing a new sound. Hear it for yourself when Hansard headlines the Kimmel Center’s Merriam Theater this Friday. // 8 p.m., $41-$61, AA // TIX + INFO – S.H.

Friday 5/31: Free Cake for Every Creature at Everybody Hits

Free Cake for Every Creature has been a staple of the Philly DIY scene for several years, but the time has come for singer-songwriter Katie Bennett to move on from the project. Free Cake released its last album, The Bluest Star, last year, and they’ll play their final show this Friday at the batting cages. Joining them for the farewell gig are Remember Sports and Amy O; hopefully someone brings a cake to send the band off properly. // 9 p.m., $10, AA // TIX + INFO – S.H.

Friday 5/31: Hemming at Ortlieb’s

Emotive singer-songwriter Hemming is headed to Ortlieb’s this Friday for her first Philly show since releasing the new Waiting / Wasting EP. Influenced by Cat Power and Stevie Nicks, Hemming songwriter Candice Martello pairs eerily dramatic instrumentation with her heartstring-tugging lyrics for an unforgettable experience. Rosu Lup and Andre Costello will also be performing. // 8:00pm., $10, 21+ // TIX + INFO – Ian Hranilovich

Saturday 6/1: The Low Road at World Cafe Live

The Low Road is an acoustic pop quintet known for their time in Philadelphia during the 90s. They are known to fuse folk, Americana, and indie all together in a time when grunge and alternative rock ruled supreme. From their many 90s performances to a recent reunion show, they have rocked the house many times over. The reunited band plays World Cafe Live Saturday, and will be joined by Stargazer Lily for a sold-out late show; Joey Sweeney opens the matinee, which still has tickets available. 8:00pm., $17, AA // TIX + INFO – I.H.

Saturday 6/1: The Roots Picnic at Mann Center

The famous Roots Picnic is coming back to Philadelphia, this time in its bright and bucolic new home in Fairmount Park’s Mann Center. This year, artlists like H.E.R., 21 Savage, Lil Baby, Blueface, and City Girls will grace the stage. On the podcast stage, Joe Budden, and The Read will be hosting live podcasts. And for a headlining set, The Roots will perform their 1999 album Things Fall Apart for its 20th anniversary. The festival is in its 12th year, and has become a Philly tradition adored by fans year after year. // 12:00pm., $99, AA // TIX + INFO – I.H.

Saturday 6/1: David Crosby at Cooper River Park

Before he plays Philadelphia Folk Fest in August, singer-songwriter icon David Crosby plays a free show at Cooper River Park this Saturday. A key member of the ginormous rock group Crosby, Stills, And Nash, which once ruled the world with their special brand of folk-singer-songwriter music, Crosby is still going strong decades after their heyday, performing on tours around the country. Last October he released a studio album, Here If You Listen, and he is gearing up to release a brand new documentary this July, titled David Crosby: Remember My Name. The free Crosby concert kicks off a concert series celebrating the 175th anniversary of the founding of Camden County. // Free, AA // INFO – I.H.

Saturday 6/1: Combo Chimbita at Boot & Saddle

Colombia-rooted, New York-based four-piece Combo Chimbita recently released its second album, Ahomale, and it’s a mystical tapestry of psychedelic atmospheres, traditional sounds, and urgent rhythms that find lead singer and songwriter Carolina Oliveros searching for a connection with her ancestors in hopes of finding a brighter future. Veterans of the annual Nuevofest concert, Combo Chimbita return to Philly on Saturday to headline Boot & Saddle. // 8:30 p.m., $12, 21+ // TIX + INFOJ.V.

Sunday 6/2: Kevin Morby at Union Transfer

Singer-songwriter Kevin Morby has bounced from Kentucky to Brooklyn to Los Angeles, and likewise from indie rock to dreamlike country over the course of five solo LPs as well as contributions to bands like Babies and Woods. His latest record, Oh My God, is minimal and meditative, with Morby turning his songwriting sights to more spiritual concerns. He brings it to Union Transfer on Sunday. // 8 p.m., $18, AA // TIX + INFOJ.V.

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